Islamabad:Pakistan's hard-hitting batsman Shahid Afridi says the appointment of former Australian Test wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist as Deccan Chargers captain played a big part in the team's victory in the second edition of the Indian Premier League.
"VVS Laxman was a defensive captain (last year) and the management rightly changed him with Adam Gilchrist," Afridi was quoted in leading Urdu language newspaper Daily Jang on Tuesday.
Deccan Chargers became the 2009 IPL champions after Gilchrist led the team to a six-run win over Bangalore Royal Challengers in Sunday's final at Johannesburg's Wanderers Stadium.
Afridi represented Deccan Chargers in the inaugural edition of the IPL last year, when they finished at the bottom of the points table in the eight-team competition. His IPL contract was canceled this year after the Pakistan government refused to allow its players to compete in the lucrative Indian Twenty20 tournament in the wake of terror attacks in Mumbai.
"The real problem (with Deccan Chargers) was the quality of leadership," Afridi told Jang.
"Gilchrist was a bold captain in this year's tournament and led from the front."
Afridi said it was sad he could not represent his team this year, "but I am happy that they won the tournament."
Gilchrist finished with 495 runs from 16 matches in the tournament - second behind his former Australian teammate Matthew Hayden (572).
Laxman had a poor run of form in South Africa and managed only 19 runs from five matches.
"I haven't seen many captains (like Gilchrist) who not only encourages other players, but his own performance is an example for others," Afridi said.